For many people, working with people with tight/overactive hip flexors is a standard incidence. Studying to correctly assess and deal with overactive hip flexors is a robust ability in serving to at present’s shopper transfer extra effectively.

Spending lengthy hours of our day in a seated place as we sit to eat, sit to work, sit at work, and so forth, can place our hip flexors in a shortened place for prolonged intervals of time inflicting them to turn out to be overactive. Motion impairments ensuing from overactive hip flexors can result in widespread points such extreme low again arch, hamstring pressure and/or again discomfort and ache (1-Four). Actually, about 80% of adults expertise low again ache sooner or later throughout their lives with nearly all of acute low again ache being a results of motion impairment (1). This isn’t a shock after we contemplate that the most important portion of at present’s workforce spends their day sitting.

People that spend nearly all of their day sitting behind a desk or touring by automobile or aircraft are extremely inclined to having overactive hip flexors. That is problematic as a result of the hip flexors shorten within the seated place and their practical antagonists (hip extensors and intrinsic core stabilizers) turn out to be reciprocally inhibited and lengthened (2-6). The extra time the hip flexors stay in a shortened place, the much less possible they’ll return to their optimum size. This implies the hip joint will stay partially flexed throughout different actions, inserting the low again in extension and the pelvis to shift anteriorly (anterior pelvic tilt), probably destabilizing the lumbar backbone which might result in ache or harm (Three-Four, 6). Fortunately, we will display screen for this compensatory sample utilizing NASM’s static and transitional motion assessments.

When performing the NASM Overhead Squat Evaluation (OHSA) with a shopper, you’ll want to watch the lumbo-pelvic-hip complicated (LPHC) from the lateral view for kinetic chain dysfunction. In the event you determine a low again arch or extreme ahead lean, overactive hip flexors could be the trigger (5-6). Nonetheless, human motion is complicated and these compensations can produce other and/or a number of causes. As an example, an overactive latissimus dorsi may cause the low again to arch whereas tight/overactive calves limiting ankle dorsiflexion vary may cause an extreme ahead lean (6). With a purpose to make certain what’s disrupting optimum motion, additional assessing might be wanted. By modifying the OHSA by both elevating the shopper’s heels or inserting the shopper’s arms on their hips extra data could be gained.

Elevating the shopper’s heels throughout the OHSA reduces the demand on the ankle complicated decreasing deviation inside the kinetic chain, particularly on the ft, knees, and hips. As well as, the shopper’s weight is shifted ahead permitting the shopper to take a seat extra upright, decreasing the quantity of hip flexion wanted. If the shopper’s extreme ahead lean is eradicated then the compensation is prone to be brought on by one thing apart from the hip flexor complicated. Nonetheless, if the compensation stays, extra assessing continues to be required (6).

The following modification to the OHSA locations the shopper’s arms on their hips, with out the heels being elevated. This modification reduces the demand on the pectorals, latissimus dorsi, and coracobrachialis, permitting you to see how the higher physique could also be influencing the LPHC. If throughout this modified evaluation the low again doesn’t arch, then the compensation inside the LPHC was possible influenced by the higher physique. If the compensation nonetheless exists, then the hip flexors might certainly be overactive (6).

You will need to word that it is not uncommon to have compensation in a number of kinetic chain verify factors stemming from a number of impairments inside the physique. Whereas for the time being our focus is on hip flexors, different impairments are prone to current and should be addressed along with the hip flexors complicated. As an example, every of the hip flexors share roles with different muscle tissue and infrequently is compensation remoted to a single checkpoint (i.e. lots of the hip flexors might also create hip adduction inflicting the knees to maneuver inward) (2-Three, 5-6). Additionally, further testing strategies such because the Thomas check, goniometric vary of movement evaluation, and/or handbook muscle testing could also be warranted to isolate particular motion impairments inside the LPHC to find out the optimum corrective train technique.

For this instance, your shopper solely introduced a low again arch throughout the OHSA. When taking the shopper by way of the “heels elevated” and “arms on hips” modified OHSAs the shopper continued to current a low again arch. We will now conclude that the shopper might have overactive hip flexors and start to deal with them.

NASM’s Corrective Train Continuum is a 4 step course of requiring that the overactive tissues be inhibited and lengthened, whereas the underactive tissues should be activated by way of isolated-strengthening and built-in actions (6). The hip flexor muscle group consists of a number of muscle tissue, however focus right here might be on just some: psoas, tensor fascia latae (TFL), and rectus femoris. The possible underactive muscle tissue on this state of affairs are the hip extensors (i.e., gluteus maximus) and intrinsic core stabilizers (Three-6). The next program is a corrective train technique for overactive hip flexors:

  • Inhibit: 1 Set, Maintain Length – 30 seconds to 2 minutes
    • SMR Tensor Fascia Latae
    • SMR Rectus Femoris
  • Lengthen: 1 Set, Maintain Length – 30 seconds
    • Kneeling Hip Flexor Static Stretch
    • TFL Static Stretch
  • Activate (Remoted Strengthening): 1-2 Units, 10-15 Reps, Four/2/2 Tempo
    • Resisted Hip Extension (Gluteus Maximus)
    • Quadruped Arm/Reverse Leg Increase (Core Stabilizers) 
  • Combine: 1-2 Units, 10-15 Reps, Sluggish Tempo
    • Ball Wall Squat to Overhead Press

The implementation of the 4 step corrective train course of could be accomplished in a really brief period of time. This corrective technique could be carried out as a part of a warm-up earlier than a exercise or as the main focus of a coaching session by itself relying on the period of time obtainable and the shopper’s objectives. The activation and integration portion may even be carried out as a circuit.

Bear in mind, with the wants of at present’s shopper and the period of time spent seated (which isn’t prone to change anytime quickly), studying to correctly assess and deal with overactive hip flexors is a robust ability in serving to at present’s shopper transfer extra effectively and scale back their danger of non-contact harm and/or discomfort. Let the outcomes of your assessments information you.


  1. Nationwide Institute of Neurological Issues and Stroke. (2017). Low again ache reality sheet. Retrieved From: person-Caregiver-Training/Reality-Sheets/Low-Again-Ache-Reality-Sheet
  2. Muscolino, J. E., Myers, T., Gaines, S., & Charmoz, A. (2017). Kinesiology: The skeletal system and muscle perform. Louis, MO: Elsevier, Inc.
  3. Stull, Okay. (2018). Full information to foam rolling: Enhance flexibility and mobility, improve restoration, decrease harm, optimize efficiency. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
  4. Winters, M. V., Blake, C. G., Trost, J. S., Marcello-Brinker, T. B., Lowe, L., Garber, M. B, & Wainner, R. S. (2004). Passive versus energetic stretching of hip flexor muscle tissue in topics with restricted hip extension: A randomized medical trial. Bodily Remedy, 84(9), 800-806.
  5. Clark, M., Lucett, S., & Corn, R. J. (2018). NASM necessities of private health coaching. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Well being/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  6. Clark, M., Lucett, S., & Sutton, B. G. (2014). NASM necessities of corrective train coaching. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Studying.

Supply hyperlink


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here